Wallet wars

Google Wallet

Google and Apple did start the competition war for the electronic wallet. Their offerings are quite similar in concept. Have a look at both.

Look at the video “Learn about the new Google Wallet”



Apple Passbook

Apple is doing the same thing. They launched in september 2012 the "Apple Passbook" solution, including the passbook app:
This enables you to store in one place a multitude of what where in the past often "plastic cards":

  • Digital coupons
  • Tickets (movies, boarding pass,...)
  • Aggregate Loyalty cards, benefits, rewards in one place
  • Piggy back of app vendors: Geo activation rewards, ...


The finality Apple want's to achieve is to have its platform widely accepted as digital wallet

There are already Belgian traders accepting and using Apple Passbook: e.g. Kinepolis has Passbook tickets

Read following article regarding the launch of Apple Passbook. Look also to the video at the top of that article. That video contains mainly interviews with start-up companies building app's on top of Apple's passbook concept.


Wireless e-wallet communication

2 competing technologies exist for wireless e-wallet communication: NFC (the Google/Microsoft camp) and AirDrop (the Apple camp)

Implicit Apple strategy: let NFC be less successful by not supporting it – using a competing technology. Having NFC on iPad/iPhone platform opens possibilities for Google Wallet, taking away revenue from Apple (for Apple passbook)


  • Near Field Communication
  • Radio communication at close proximity (cm’s)
  • Standard for smartphones, tablets – Android & Windows 8.1
  • Promotor: Google, Allies:  Microsoft & Android phone vendors


  • Bluetooth and ad-hoc Wifi
  • Promotor: Apple (>= iPhone 5, iPad 4)

2 uses

  • Sharing: E.g share document with coworker
  • Payments: Virtual credit card (Google Wallet, Apple passbook)


Micro payments

Paypal is probably the best known platform that allows micro payments. But there are more players. Micro payments are defined as transaction below 10 euro.


= payments < 10 €
Some examples
  • Zong
Zong mobile payments = micropayment system that charges payments to users' mobile phone bills
E.g. purchase virtual goods in online games and social networks.
  • PayPal
PayPal MicroPayments is a micropayment system that charges payments to user's paypal accounts.
Pricing model is 5% of purchase plus 5 cents.


Micropayments have created a new market: 10 years ago it was unthinkable to buy a 1$ product from the US (e.g. a song). Overhead costs for the money transfert would be ridiculous high compared to the 1$ payment value. So now you can have extremely low cost (e-)products in your webshop and still make a profit.


e-coins – peer-to-peer digital currency

The most well known example is Bitcoin:

  • A peer-to-peer digital currency that functions without the intermediation of a central authority.
  • Bitcoin has been called a cryptocurrency because it is decentralized and uses cryptography to control transactions and prevent double-spending, a problem for digital currencies. Once validated, every individual transaction is permanently recorded in a public ledger known as the blockchain. Payment processing is done by a network of private computers often specially tailored to this task. The operators of these computers, known as "miners", are rewarded with transaction fees and newly minted Bitcoins.
  • Bitcoins are stored by associating them with addresses called "wallets". Wallets can be stored on web services, on local hardware like PCs and mobile devices, or on paper print-outs.
  • Bitcoins are increasingly used as payment for legitimate products and services, and merchants have an incentive to accept the currency because transaction fees are lower than the 2 to 3% typically imposed by credit card processors. Notable vendors include OkCupid, Reddit, WordPress, and Chinese Internet giant Baidu.
  • Speculation forms a problem though: As of November 2013, the use of Bitcoin in the retail and commercial marketplace is relatively small compared with the use by speculators.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin